Back to School Survival Guide
For some parents, the end of the summer holidays comes as a welcome relief after 6-9 weeks without any regular routine. Even though getting out of the house in time for the school run is a struggle, it can feel easier than the seemingly endless weeks of trying to entertain lively children without the need to remortgage the house/rehome the kids!
Other parents will be filled with dread as the beginning of term looms closer, as getting their children up, dressed and out the house without all hell breaking loose seems virtually impossible. And if you have one child at school and another at home, figuring out how to fit naps and feeding round school runs is another daunting prospect. So here are some tips to help you survive the massive change in routine:
- Give yourself enough time in the mornings! As nice as it is to have that extra 15 or 20 minutes in bed (for those of you whose children don’t wake before the alarm), a bit more time will be the difference between a stressful morning and a calm one. You never know what the morning is going to throw at you. A broken breakfast bowl, a spilt cup of milk or a missing shoe will be the difference between you calmly having enough time to get ready or running stressfully late and losing your sh*t. If you’re ready early, you can all sit and read a book or watch TV for 10 minutes as a reward!
- Prepare the night before. Some people may think that this is just too much to do at the end of the day, but if you can get bags packed and uniform out before bedtime, it will save you more time than you realise in the morning and relieve stress.
- Give your children responsibilities and rewards. Children love to be helpful (honestly!), so ask them to do little tasks in the morning so that you aren’t doing everything for them. Simple jobs like putting the cereal box away, putting their bowl in the dishwasher, lining the shoes up by the front door, filling the water bottles are all things that even reception and year 1 children can do. If they are helpful, reward them with hugs or 5 minutes TV once they are ready to walk out the door.
- Many children come out of school starving so try to remember a healthy snack to boost their energy levels. This will save you having to buy them junk at the local shop and it will also save you from having a vile monster dragging their heels all the way home.
- Making your baby’s routine fit around the school run can be tricky. Some babies are guaranteed to fall asleep on the school run, in which case it is fine to transfer them to their cot once you get home, leave them sleeping in their pram/buggy or wake them up, depending on what the rest of your day looks like. The most important thing is that you MUST NOT LEAVE THEM SLEEPING IN THEIR CARSEAT as this is dangerous and puts them at risk of reduced oxygen levels. You are better off waking them up and then giving them another nap an hour or two later. If your baby’s feed is due during the school run, you will need look at their routine and adjust feeding times.
- If you find that your baby is always mid-nap when it’s time to pick your older children up from school, you will need to look at adjusting their routine. It is best to cut their morning nap short so that their afternoon nap starts earlier so that you wake them up for the school run and they are then alert and smiley to greet their older sibling! They may need a 15 minute power-nap around 4.30 to get them through to bedtime if they are under 10 months.
If you are struggling with adjusting routines, we can help you sort them out with a one hour consultation by phone or online.
GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE LITTLE PEOPLE STARTING SCHOOL!
If you need any more advice, give us a call and we will be able to help you – 07977 462252.